IRS Notification – Fiscal Activity 71363. Word DOC Malware

detecting malware

IRS Notification – Fiscal Activity 71363. pretending to come from International Taxpayer Service <lhopkins@wm.com> is another one from the current zbot runs which try to drop cryptolocker, ransomware and loads of other malware on your computer. They are using email addresses and subjects that will entice a user to read the email and open the attachment. A very high proportion are being targeted at small and medium size businesses, with the hope of getting a better response than they do from consumers.

Almost all of these have a password stealing component, with the aim of stealing your email or FTP ( web space) log in credentials. Many of them are also designed to specifically steal your facebook and other social network log in details.

Please read our How to protect yourselves page for simple, sensible advice on how to avoid being infected by this sort of socially engineered malware.

This is another one of the current bunch of malwares being spread by attempting to use a genuine Word Doc with an embedded macro. This one, once again tries to contact http://moviebernie1996.ru/u.exe and download the zbot which has a current virus total detection rate of 5/54.

Update 5 August 2021: today the version of this malware connects to http://moviebernie1996.ru/u.exe and download the zbot which has a current virus total detection rate of 6/54

If you still use an older version of Microsoft Word, then you are at risk of being infected by this. Modern versions, that is 2010 and 2013 have macros disabled by default and are set to display in read only mode by default. That stops any macros or embedded programs from running.

Do not open word docs received in an email without scanning them with your antivirus first and be aware that there are a lot of dodgy word docs spreading that WILL infect you with no action from you, if you use an out dated or vulnerable version of word. This is a good reason to update your office programs to a recent version and stop using office 2003 and 2007. The risks in using older version are starting to outweigh the convenience, benefits and cost of keeping an old version going.
I strongly urge you to update your office software to the latest version and stop putting yourself at risk, using old out of date software

The whole email is garbled and I suppose it is aimed at US tax payers who are living or working in UK, because the Address and phone number in the email belong to the American Embassy in London

Here is a report on your early 2014 Federal Tax return report.

Kindly download the attachment to view your report and start filling for 2014 return as early as second week of July.

Thanks

Internal Revenue Service
24/31 Grosvenor Square
London W1K 6AH
United Kingdom
Tel.Fax.: [44] (207) 672-2808
htxp://irs.gov/

4 August 2021: Fiscal Activity.Doc Current Virus total detections: 7/52

5 August 2021: Fiscal Activity.Doc Current Virus total detections: 0/54

This IRS Notification – Fiscal Activity 71363. is another one of the spoofed icon files that unless you have “show known file extensions enabled“, will look like a proper word file instead of the .exe file it really is, so making it much more likely for you to accidentally open it and be infected.

All of these emails use Social engineering tricks to persuade you to open the attachments that come with the email. Whether it is a message saying “look at this picture of me I took last night” and it appears to come from a friend or is more targeted at somebody who regularly is likely to receive PDF attachments or Word .doc attachments or any other common file that you use every day. Be very careful when unzipping them and make sure you have “show known file extensions enabled“, And then look carefully at the unzipped file. If it says .EXE then it is a problem and should not be run or opened.

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